More disclosure at work

Well, outing myself as transgender and pregnant at work has continued to go well.

I feel incredibly lucky to work in a department/research center with such progressive, loving, family friendly faculty and staff.  I am almost certain I would have faced more strife at my previous place of employment (an LGBTQ community center)  If this sounds strange to you, just trust me, even the queer and trans community can have rigid gender expectations at times.

Today I finally met with the second faculty member I work with to disclose my news.  I admit I was dragging my heels a little to meet with him.  First, his communication style is a bit awkward.  Second, I’ve never ever had a non-academic/non-work related conversation with him.  He breezed in the office wanting to meet 8 minutes before his next meeting.  Ugh…okay, 8 minutes I thought to tell a really LONG story.  So he got the very condensed version that ended with …”so basically I’m 6 months pregnant!”  He really empathized with our challenges as a queer couple trying to bring children into our lives.  He even revealed that him and his wife struggled with fertility issues and used IVF to conceive their children.  He was warm and congratulatory.  I do think he was a little surprised that I was already 6 months along and he was just finding out…or maybe that he couldn’t tell/didn’t notice I was, uh, growing larger in the gut.

Regardless, it’s a weight lifted off my shoulders because I have to admit it was getting a little strange going to a meeting where he was the only one in the room who didn’t know.Image

In other news, since more people know at work I wondered what my experience of being pregnant and open about it would be.  Thus far people are acting as if the pregnancy is invisible.  I’m not sure if they are doing this out of respect for my transmale identity or maybe they are uncomfortable, and wonder if they should ask a pregnant guy the same questions they ask other pregnant women.  On the one hand I like this strategy.  I can come to work and fly under the radar.  But, sometimes it feels a little strange to have such a big thing happening in my life ignored.  But…there are plenty of non-work related people in my life to love on my preggo man self and make me feel visible so it’s really not that big of a deal.

Lately I’ve also been looking for any indication that others can tell I’m pregnant.  This morning this woman made a very big deal about holding the door for me.  It seemed exaggerated and strange and when I started thinking about it I’ve noticed more folks of all genders trying to open doors lately.  Then I sit and wonder (obsess) if EVERYONE knows I’m pregnant!  LOL.

Still waiting for the first person to ask/say something!

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7 thoughts on “More disclosure at work

  1. I think I would be troubled to if something so big and exciting was being ignored. This is such a momentous occasional for you, that it deserves to be celebrated normally, or at least with some extra congratulations.

  2. RE people holding doors- I often hold doors for people, especially if the person behind me is male. I feel like it’s polite, although sometimes I have guys get angry that I’m a lady, opening a door for them, but whatever. Perhaps these other people are just being nice?

  3. I’m glad you were able to tell someone else! Soak up all that holding doors stuff, it’s the only part of pregnancy I REALLY missed!!! Seriously, three weeks after having Harper, people were back to letting the doors hit me in the face! It was strange to go from being put on the pregnant pedestal in public to realizing how rude people are! I’m so glad I’m showing again now so people will be nicer to me haha!

  4. This is awesome, and it speaks to the “human condition” that we all sort of share in our experiences of hardship, even if they are a little different. I also think that people react in ways that are responses to other people’s reactions. So, if you get a few super supportive people, others will respond accordingly. I am so happy it’s been going so well!
    And TOTALLY I could see how you’d want to “soak up this pregnancy” because it is this miraculous thing happening inside of you and it’s different EVERY DAY! I have the inkling too that people probably just aren’t asking about it because again, they don’t know what to ask or like you said, out you or your masculine identity. I bet though if you brought it up like “baby is really kicking today” people would totally jump in on that conversation 🙂

  5. Is that a picture of your desk? (Nice monitor set up!) I wonder what would happen if you put more baby-related stuff where other people could see it, for example a copy of the latest ultrasound, or any little tchotchke that invokes the fact that a baby is on the way. I would guess people are trying to be sensitive, and maybe they fear they don’t have the language to talk about it without seeming stupid. But you are going to be a papa soon, and in most work places, people would mention that from time to time, I would guess. So what about some little thing that says “DAD” or something like that to put on your desk that would give people an entry point? (I don’t know if it exists, but I imagine it is made in the shape of baby blocks, eh?)

  6. I never ask ANYONE if they’re pregnant, because I would be mortified if they weren’t and I had assumed. 😉 As far as people who already know not checking in or asking questions, it could be because they don’t have the right vocabulary – that maybe they’re afraid they will unintentionally say something offensive. I like butchenuf’s suggestion of something on your desk that would give them an opening for conversation.

    At the beginning of your post, you talk about gender stereotypes in the LGBT community, and I have to admit, I was one of those LGBT people who didn’t understand the concept of being male-identified and pregnant. It just didn’t compute. Then, we struggled with having a child ourselves, and I realized the lengths we would’ve gone to expand our family. Then I “met” you on BabyCenter as well as another hoping-to-be-pregnant man, and it became personal. I’ve gone from not understanding and maybe even thinking it was a little odd, to thinking that this is incredible and beautiful.

    I wish you guys the best, and I love following your journey!

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